World's best two-year-old filly has Kerry connections

Listowel native Maurice Regan interviewed at The Breeders' Cup last November.
Listowel native Maurice Regan interviewed at The Breeders' Cup last November.

Stephen Fernane

A racehorse co-owned by Listowel native Maurice Regan has just been voted the best two-year-old filly in the world at the 47th Annual Eclipse Awards Ceremony held at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

Caledonia Road was an impressive three-and-a-half-length winner of the Grade 1 '14 Hands Winery Breeders´Cup Juvenile for Fillies' at Del Mar's prestigious Breeders' Cup meeting last November when she was steered to victory by top US jockey Mike Smith in a race worth a cool $1,260,000 to the winner.

Maurice, who runs the Newton Anner Stud in Co Tipperary and also keeps horses in his stables based in upstate New York, is the son of Patricia and Maurice Regan from Listowel. The award caps an amazing few months for the Regan's as their other horse, Laganore, also won The Premio Lydia Tesio over 1m2f at Cappannelle in Rome last November when ridden by Champion Flat Jockey Colin Keane in a Grade 1 contest worth €145,000.

"We're absolutely thrilled with this latest award which recognises just how good a filly Caledonia Road is," said Patricia Regan.

Initially, the horse's connections had considered holding Caledonia Road in reserve for a tilt at a race later in the season. But fortune favours the brave and Maurice and his fellow owners decided to take their chance in the world famous Breeders' Cup meeting where the filly defied her outsiders tag to coast home at odds of 20/1.

The horse was nominated for the award by top international racing bodies like the Thoroughbred Racing Association and The National Turf Writers and Broadcasters who picked 17 horses across various distances and levels in recognition of excellence in thoroughbred racing.

"I spoke with Maurice on the phone shortly after the ceremony and he was delighted as they didn't think she would win the award. I'm very proud of him and the success we've had in the sport. Having two Grade 1s in a week last November is just the stuff of dreams really," Patricia added.

Caledonia Road was bred in Florida and bought for $140,000 at the Keeneland September yearling sale in 2016.  She now joins an illustrious group of fillies as 30 out of the last 34 winners of the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies went on to be voted best two-year-old filly in the world.